A training simulator for the SVBR-100 metal-cooled integral fast reactor being developed in Russia has entered operation. A pilot unit is scheduled to start up in 2017.
The simulator was supplied to AKME-Engineering - a joint stock company set up by Rosatom in 2009 to develop and commercialise the SVBR-100 - by Experimental Research and Methodological Centre "Simulation System."
The simulator is an interactive model of an SVBR-100 power unit, which includes the reactor core, the primary and secondary circuits of the reactor module, the turbine generator and associated control equipment.
AKME-Engineering director general Vladimir Petrochenko said, "The simulator is designated for the exploration and demonstration of the concept, dynamic modes and various transient processes during the SVBR-100 power unit operation. The second function of the software is to train the personnel of ACME-Engineering as the operating company for the SVBR-100 project."
He added, "We are also planning to update the simulator using data deriving from the extension of the thorough technical study of the SVBR-100 project."
Petrochenko noted that the simulator "is not only a product display and training bench that allows the visual monitoring of physical processes and trying different operational modes, but it is also the virtual prototype of the SVBR-100 power unit."
The 100 MWe SVBR-100 is an integral reactor design, in which all the primary circuit - the reactor core itself as well as steam generators and associated equipment such as main circulating pumps - sits inside a pool of lead-bismuth coolant in a single vessel. The module would be factory-built and could be shipped by rail, road or water to its destination, where multiple modules could be installed depending on local needs. The output from the multi-function reactor could be used to supply heat, industrial steam and water desalination as well as electricity generation. The SVBR-100 concept has already been used on seven Russian Alfa-class nuclear submarines as well as in experimental installations on land. However, the commercial power reactor would be adapted to operate with various forms of nuclear fuel including uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) and nitride fuels. Using uranium oxide fuel enriched up to 16.8% the reactor would be able to operate for 7-8 years between refuelling. When operating with MOX, it would be able to operate within a self-supported closed fuel cycle. According to AKME-Engineering, the pilot unit is scheduled to begin operating in 2017 and commercial production of the reactor would begin in 2019.